Cargill marks sustainable palm oil progress in first half of 2015 

Cargill’s work on fully traceable and sustainable palm oil supply chains continues. The company has launched a dedicated web portal to keep stakeholders abreast of the latest news and progress. 

August 07, 2015

In Cargill’s third palm oil progress update, we share some of the recent actions we’ve taken to build fully traceable and sustainable palm oil supply chains. Our goal continues to be upholding the highest standards in accordance with our palm oil policy.

In this update, we revisit three milestones from our action plan published in November 2014:

  • Traceability back to the mill in key markets by June 30, 2015: The update shows supply chain traceability to mill for first two quarters of 2015, with the company on track to reach 100 percent traceability to mill by the end of the year
  • Complete 11 supplier field assessments globally: The company has completed nine field assessments and shares findings from Brazil and Malaysia
  • Launch a pilot labor assessment in Indonesia

Cargill has also launched a new palm oil web portal. Palm oil news and progress updates can now be found at www.cargill.com/palmoil.

Traceability

We continue to track traceability data to the mill in key markets and by country of origin to reach 100 percent traceability to mill by December 2015 and to provide palm oil that is 100 percent traceable back to sustainable plantations by 2020. While we had originally hoped to have 100 percent of mills mapped in key markets by the end of June, we revised this date in our last progress update as we worked to build trust and deepen our relationships with suppliers.

Working with suppliers to encourage reporting continues to be a critical part of the process. Cargill is cooperating with industry partners to develop verification and reporting of traceability information. From July onwards, we expect our traceability to improve significantly as a major supplier, who has made similar no deforestation and traceability commitments, has agreed to share traceability information in some markets.

In our latest update, we are pleased to share greater transparency by reporting the key markets of Algeria, India and Pakistan for the first time.

Supplier field assessments

We have completed nine of 11 field assessments of suppliers globally. Field assessments are detailed evaluations of sustainability practices covering palm oil mills and their suppliers. While these locations are not owned by Cargill, our intention was to evaluate, understand and improve our supply chains. Four of the assessments were conducted in Malaysia, four in Brazil and one was completed previously in Indonesia. Conducted by our partner, TFT (The Forest Trust), we identified opportunities for improvement at each location and are now formulating action plans to bring millers and suppliers in line with our 2014 sustainable palm oil policy. In addition, we will use the lessons we learned to expand the new measures to our broader supply chain.

“No Exploitation” assessment at our plantation

As part of our commitment to no exploitation of rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, Cargill joined with TFT in May 2015 to field test TFT’s “No Exploitation” standard at our PT Harapan Sawit Lestari plantation in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. TFT drafted the standard based on feedback from a number of social experts in the industry. The assessment was useful in providing insights that affirm Cargill’s robust plantation employment policies, while helping us strengthen our practices to better cater to the welfare of our employees. One such practice is identifying more optimal periods when electricity from our mills is made available to employee housing communities.

Cargill also supports ongoing initiatives, such as the RSPO’s Human Rights Working Group and TFT’s development of a “No Exploitation” standard. We are actively working with stakeholders to share our experience in our own plantations as well as the challenges we face in monitoring issues in our supply chain, in order to develop practical guidelines.

We believe transparency with our stakeholders is key and we will share the latest information at www.cargill.com/palmoil.